How to Manage Local Guests Staying in Your Vacation Home

The vacation rental market experienced a major downturn as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions have prevented would-be guests from out of state or other countries from taking their annual holidays in Florida.

On the other hand, local bookings from residents who want to get away for a few days without long-distance travel have risen.

Knowing how to manage local guests staying at Orlando vacation homes helps home investors take advantage of the market while doing their part to keep guests safe.

The Changing Short-Term Rental Market

Local travel is a safer option for residents who want an escape from the isolation and monotony resulting from local lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.

Vacation rental homeowners have seen an increase in local bookings while out-of-town reservations have dropped since the pandemic began. The market is now being fueled by local guests looking for short-term vacation rental homes they can enjoy without the health risks and higher cost of air travel.

New Risks for Short-Term Vacation Homeowners in Orlando

Social distancing and restrictions on gatherings mean that homeowners have to make sure that guests comply with new health and safety standards.

Large gatherings can increase the spread of coronavirus while posing a threat to (and disrupting) neighbors. This can lead to unwanted legal hassles for short-term vacation rental homeowners.

Make rules for your guests explicitly clear so that they don’t use your home as a place to invite friends over for large gatherings.

How to Protect Your Vacation Home and Manage Local Guests

Not all guests will abide by rules that homeowners put in place. Here are some additional steps you can take to manage local guests, protect your property, and ensure continued good relations with your neighbors.

1) A minimum stay requirement of at least three days can reduce the risk of drawing locals looking for a place to throw a party with their friends and family.

2) Ask questions about the purpose of your guest’s visit and how many people will be staying in your home. Having this information in writing can protect you in the event that guests decide to breach the terms of your agreement.

3) Post notices inside your home to remind them that large gatherings are strictly prohibited. Establish penalties, such as the immediate removal of guests and the withholding of any refunds.

4) Establish rules based on local, city, and state restrictions, and update those rules as restrictions change over time. For instance, you can add a provision to your house rules that states: “No bookings can accommodate guests over the maximum number allowed by state, county, or city law.”

Most people who book a short-term vacation rental in their local area will be model guests. But it’s better to be prepared for the few outliers who may try to take advantage of the home owner. Using the tools above can help you combat this challenge while still maintaining increased bookings over the summer and beyond.

Team Donovan helps home investors maximize the value of their Orlando vacation homes while navigating changes in the Central Florida real estate market. If you’re interested in buying or selling a holiday home near Disney, give us a call at (407) 705-2616 to schedule a free consultation, or complete our online contact form.